Gear Review: Dog booties, part II
October 27, 2005
The saying, “If the shoe fits, wear it” has been on my mind a lot lately as I’ve been looking for the perfect set of dog booties for my mutt, Slinky.Slinky tested a set of all-weather Muttluks, a Canadian brand that both Aspen pet stores carry (Gear Review, Oct. 2). They did the trick – kept her dry paw pads from cracking and didn’t chafe her legs raw at the closure – but they didn’t hold up well under a pounding, seven-mile bike ride. Some of the stitching came undone and one seam busted apart completely.
Recognizing the Muttluks’ comfort (which wasn’t the case with other booties), we decided to give ’em another shot. This time, we tested the winter Muttluks – same construction, but with a higher, socklike cuff and an interior fleece lining.The testing ground was Montezuma basin with about 8 inches of new snow. Because of the uneven, at times icy, road and the rocky moraine that must be negotiated to reach the snowfield, I figured we had a good broad range of conditions.
This time, I cinched the Velcro strap as tightly as it could possibly go. Though I had been told to do that before, I was afraid it would cut off Slinky’s circulation and that I’d be responsible for a doggie amputation. Luckily, there seemed to be no painful effects from the tightened booties, and it certainly kept them from flipping around as the previous set had. It’s kind of like ski boots – buckle them as tightly as you can stand.Slinky’s feet don’t get cold easily (don’t ask me how I know this, I just do), and she doesn’t get those painful little snowballs stuck on her paw hairs as many dogs do, so she doesn’t really need winter booties. But it was certainly better for her feet to have some protection against the crusty, rough snow. And the booties held together this time.The only real problem, and it was significant, is that the soft, stretchy cuff slipped down too easily, allowing snow to get stuck inside, making her lower legs bulge like a weightlifter’s. This could probably be solved by putting another Velcro strap or fastener on the upper part of the bootie. Or – and neither Slinky nor I can see this happening – don’t go out in more than 2 inches of new snow.